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Small Favors on Congressional Pork

A new analysis by Taxpayers for Common Sense, published August 18, shows:

“lawmakers are showing (a) slight restraint in writing the earmarks in the FY 2009 spending bills, according to an analysis by Taxpayers for Common Sense (TCS). The House has increased the number and value of earmarks at about the same rate.  The Senate has cut earmarks by 16% in the spending bills in terms of total dollars. The analysis is based on all the bills that have passed full committee and are awaiting action in both chambers.”

Unfortunately, TCS concludes their analysis by saying:

“There are twelve final spending bills for the federal government. So in turn, there are 24 final House or Senate bills. Congress has only released 15 of those bills. With so many bills not considered, including the Defense spending bill that includes more earmarks than each of the House and Senate passed bills, much can still change. And that assumes that the spending bills will move under relatively regular order.

The slight progress made on reducing the total costs of earmarks will be eliminated the longer we wait to pass the 2009 spending bills. The most likely scenario is a major omnibus spending bill during the first days of the 111th Congress. So any earmark reductions we are seeing in August are likely to be negated by an avalanche of earmarks that always accompanies major omnibus spending bills.” (emphasis added)

For further details, including access to the earmarks database, visit the link in the first line of the post. After you blood pressure goes up a bit, call Senators Warner (R) and Webb (D) and Representative Jim Moran (D) to cut the pork entirely. The phone number on Capitol Hill is 202-224-3121.

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